Monday, April 25, 2005

His Paths

"Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way." Psalm 25.8 NKJ

What a source of joy and confidence this whole Psalm has been through the years. Today this verse especially touched my heart.

I am so glad that He teaches sinners. That means that I am included; I know that I can qualify for this one!

"All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." v. 10

Oh, how I long to walk in those very paths of mercy and truth. And this Psalm promises that He will show me how to do just that. I, simple and sinful me, can learn to walk in His way - His holy way!

Hallelujah! Now that is enough to make me want to shout and jump for joy!


A question and a postulation:

I believe that Francis Schaeffer presented a thesis in "How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture" suggesting that the arts reflect the soul of a culture. Can someone confirm that? If I am accurate in my recollection, I want to say that I understand his point. He traced the arts and culture back to early Rome, if I remember correctly. It would seem as though the arts do reflect culture. But I wonder...

My thought: Christians, through the arts, could actually effect the soul of a culture.

Is it not possible, as a dear friend recently said to me, for us to be the head and not the tail, and in so doing, set a new direction in the arts? Must the arts be dominated by the secular, Godless realm? Could we not rather set the pace and in time bring about an awareness of God's beauty, stirring even a hunger in the souls of men? Or will our art be limited by culture's current trends?

What was accomplished by Mel Gibson's "The Passion"? We know that it was almost entirely overlooked by the Oscar awards, but did it not influence, in some measure, our culture? Perhaps the limited but still recognizable impact is in actuality reflective of our mixed culture. If so, Schaeffer's thesis would be further confirmed. But is there not potential for the Christian element (I'm guessing we're a little less in number than a majority in this culture) to rise to greatness in the arts and begin to influence culture rather than allow the arts to merely reflect a majority? Is it possible for the arts to take this role?

Any thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am definitely counting it as fun this week! I do so love doing the makeup and working with the kids. Yes, it's work, but this is the fun kind of work--making someone else look good for the role they are playing. The kids have so much fun, too, that one cannot help but get caught up in it!

I won't be able to make it tonight, but I may be able to squeeze out there for a while Tuesday afternoon to get things set up and hopefully teach some of the girls what to do with their own makeup.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Darlene!
I love this post about the arts because it implies so much! Yes, we are to be the head and not the tail...and I think we can limit great things God would like to do through us when we allow what is good and God created to be taken by our common culture. I think this can apply in other areas of life as well as the arts. I haven't read this book, but have heard great things about it...

8:17 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Moulton said...

I haven't read Schaeffer's book so I don't know. It's one I'd like to read, tho.

God wouldn't give so many talents and giftings in the arts if we couldn't use them. And when our heart is to be an expression of Him, how can we go wrong? Whether it is setting a pretty table or planting flowers...all can be done to express His beauty and glory. If I do it to impress myself or others, then it isn't going to have the same impact and it will not bless Him.

TBN, a Christian network that I've watched for 12 years, has produced a few major films over the years. They have actually had premiers in Hollywood, have had major actors in their films, and their movies get into the theaters around the country. (mostly city areas) Their philosophy is to impact the culture; advance the Kingdom. They are not letting their "smallness" deter them and they are being heard! The latest film is about Esther, based on Tommy Tenney's book.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the farther out we cast our net, the more we catch things we are not prepared to reel in. Explanation? Make the point to reach those we have direct contact with. Discipleship. I think sometimes as artists we only "think big." We want to travel around, meet as many people as possible, influence everyone we can. Maybe our gifts can be better served (though maybe not funded) with those we might actually develop a relationship with - then they can see our good works and praise the Father - not us! This is not say that bigger things aren't good, but the average Joe can be MIGHTY in his daily living and discipling - having a lifestyle that backs up his art! Just a thought. :0)

8:37 AM  
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